Archive for December 4, 2010


The new and reelected officials in 31 barangays in Dagupan City with the Sangguniang Kabataan(SK) officials as they take their oath of office before City Mayor Benjamin Lim last November 24 at the City Astrodome.CESAR RAMIREZ

December 4, 2010 at 10:56 am Leave a comment

Revita launches fight against cervical cancer

by Virgilio Sar. Maganes

ROSALES- Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide, next to breast cancer, which claims 250,000 lives yearly. Every day, 12 Filipinas die of cervical cancer due to insufficient awareness and knowledge on preventive measures to combat the dreaded disease.

It is for this reason that Mayor Ricardo V. Revita of this town joined hands with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a pharmaceutical company which is a forerunner in anti-cervical cancer prevention through its vaccine “cervarix’; and the Cervical Cancer Prevention of the Philippines (CECAP), a non-government organization which advocates anti-cervical cancer awareness and prevention in the country.

The anti-cervical cancer program in this town dubbed as “Alagang Pangkalusugan: Cervical Cancer Vaccination,” the first in the province and in Region I, was launched on November 22 at the Robert Estrella Sr. Memorial Stadium which was attended by the female municipal employees, nursing students, barangay health workers (BHWs) and other stakeholders in the delivery of health services.

“Walang pinipili ang sakit na ito. Mayaman ka man o mahirap ay madaling dapuan ng nakakamatay na cervical cancer. Kaya, inilulunsad ko ang programang ito, una para sa mga kababaihang kawani ng munisipyo para sa pagbabakuna sa murang halaga,” Revita said.

There are about 80 municipal female employees who will benefit from the program. They will be given three doses of the anti-cervical cancer vaccine at a discounted price of P1,550 per dose. The amount is deductible from their salaries for three months.

Samantha Sanchez, accounts officer of GSK, said that the regular price of the vaccination per dose from the private medical practitioners is P4,500. With the discounted price for the employees and residents of Rosales, more women can avail of the said vaccine.

Dr. Maria Felisa R. Oraa, an obstetrician-gynecologist of Manila Doctors Hospital, said that every Filipina is a step closer to winning the game against the cervical cancer due to “sufficient awareness, surveillance, advocacy and prevention”.

Through power point presentation, she showed to the audience the various stages of the cervical cancer saying that “prevention, such as vaccination, could be the best alternative to combat the disease coupled with proper sex practice and hygiene and the regular conduct of pap smear examination among women”.

She further said that the transmission of the virus can be by skin-to-skin genital contact, even without sexual penetration and that condom usage may not adequately protect individuals from exposure to the virus.

Cervical cancer is caused by human papilloma virus or HPV wherein HPV 16, 18, 45 and 31 are the cervical cancer causing strains. The vaccine “cervarix” directly combats the said strains.

Dr. Sheila D. Banaag of CECAP urged the audience to take proactive stance on the fight of cervical cancer.

“Our agency is in constant coordination with the government and private hospitals and academic institutions like the Philippine General Hospital and the University of the Philippines. We are also bringing our advocacies to the local government units all over the country. We are happy that Mayor Revita responded to such call. Rosales is the first town in Pangasinan and in Region I to have this kind of anti-cervical cancer program,” Dr. Banaag said.

William Ross Luke, a Briton and an adopted son of Rosales for 25 years, was instrumental in bringing the program to the town through his coordination with GSK in the United Kingdom. He said that the officials of GSK, London referred him to GSK Philippines which in turn coordinated with Revita.

The female employees of this town will have their first dose of the vaccine on December 3, second dose on January 7, 2011 and the third dose on May 6, 2011.

December 4, 2010 at 10:50 am Leave a comment

Kimi inducts village dads and youth leaders of Villasis

By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

VILLASIS- Fifth District Rep. Kimi S. Cojuangco sworn into office the newly elected punong barangays, barangay kagawads, Sangguniang Kabataan chairs and kagawads on November 26 at the Public Auditorium.

She urged the newly inducted village officials to rally behind their barangay mates and provide the necessary services they needed.

“Importante kayong mga lider sa barangay. Sana parati kayong mag-alaga sa inyong mga mamamayan. (You are the most important leaders in your barangays. I hope that you will continuously care for your constituents.),” she said.

Kimi recalled that during her campaign sortie in the town last election period in many barangays, she observed that the people are kind and happy.

“You are blessed to have a peaceful community. I know that the situation makes you the happiest people in this part of the province,” she said urging them to unite and cooperate behind the administration of Mayor Dita Abrenica and the municipal officials.

She shared her wisdom as a leader in the district. She said that many people were wondering why she entered politics and how she became a politician.

“There were many questions why I became a politician, My answer to them is that I am not a politician but a public servant. Be a good leader. A good leader is a good servant. You will serve and do not wait for your people to serve you,” she told them.

She extended her congratulations to the village officials and assured them that she will always lend her hand should they need her services as the district’s representative in Congress.

Earlier, Mayor Dita Abrenica cited her on-going programs in the town. She requested the newly elected officials to work with her and unite for the good of the town.

“Let us put politics aside. We have developmental agenda to pursue, among which are the construction of the agro-industrial complex in which we will have the livelihood training center, the establishment of the dairy farm, the development of our cemeteries and the use of our newly purchased five tractors. We will continue to construct farm-to-market roads in your barangays,” Abrenica said.

A total of 21 punong barangays, 168 barangay kagawads, 21 chairs of Sannguniang Kabataan and 147 SK kagawads were sworn into office. They will assume village leaderships on December 1.

The oath taking ceremony was also attended by Vice Mayor Centenielo Rizal R. Costales, Councilors Paz Sison-Rafanan, Roderick E.R. Mina, Arvin B. Castro, Rolando Morden, Cheryl Zarate. Tan, and Rosario Lopez-Limos.

December 4, 2010 at 10:50 am Leave a comment

Kimi on different issues

I rarely have the chance to personally interview 5th district Rep. Kimi S. Cojuangco. It’s either I could not get near her during her sorties in the district or I was not allowed by her staff, particularly her girl Friday Dang Manaois and photographer Loejan, saying most of the time that Kimi will not let herself to be interviewed by media men.

Sometimes it is disgusting to hear those words from immediate staff of a highly respectable person, a representative of the people at that and a public figure. Don’t we deserve to have first hand information of what our representative in Congress is doing? Why the cordon sanitaire from those guys? I am sure that Kimi is not aware of this. Former Rep. Mark O. Cojuangco was most of the time accessible to media men. He usually obliged for interview particularly if there were big issues to talk about, mostly within the ambit of his advocacies. But why not Kimi? Why are our efforts to go near her and ask relevant questions stopped? Foremost, I am a resident of the district and second, I am a newsman whose responsibility is to gather news for the information of the public.

Last November 26 just after the oath taking of the barangay officials in Villasis, I requested Loejan to ask Dang Manaois if I could interview Madam Kimi. Loejan said that he already texted Dang about it and the reply was Madam Kimi would not like to be interviewed. Of course, I understood that moment. Madam Kimi was busy having her lunch with the municipal officials of Villasis inside the auditorium’s visitors’ lounge.

But the answer that Madam Kimi “would not like to be interviewed” was not acceptable. No it wasn’t because I have prepared questions for her. Now I know that she’s surrounded with staff “ who are not sensitive to public concerns”. They are concerned with pleasing her . Who will not be? They might lose their job. But tell me Dang, I have not even approached you in the past even during the term of Rep. Mark O. Cojuangco. You have a very unfriendly attitude towards us media men except perhaps some of your close friends in the press.

I have waited that day until I called the attention of Vice Mayor Nilo Costales. I requested the good vice mayor if he could relay to Madam Kimi that I would like to interview her. She obliged without hesitation. I was given the go signal to go inside the lounge. At last, a personal interview with Madam Kimi S. Cojuangco!

Here are the issues raised during the brief interview:

* On reproductive health bill- Kimi said that she signed the endorsement of the said bill. There were no “ifs and buts” she’s pro-reproductive health bill in spite of the controversies it elicited from pro-life advocates.

For the information of my readers, the controversial bill is authored by Rep. Edcel Lagman known as House Bill No. 96 or “Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2010”. The counterpart bill in the Senate is authored by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago known as Senate Bill No. 2370. The said bills have been opposed by the Church leaders saying that it is against the nature of men. However, advocates of the said bill viewed it otherwise. It is said to be the answer in the universal access to reproductive health, comprehensive and rights-based.

* Bataan Nuclear Plant- Kimi said that she filed a bill for the conduct of comprehensive study of the Bataan Nuclear Plant. This was not a far cry from the advocacy of former Rep. Mark O. Cojuangco, but a development of the previous proposal. Mark’s advocacy was to put into operation the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Plant, while Kimi’s version is to have the opinion of international experts, who, she said, are the last bastion whether it will operate it or not.

“We need the opinions of experts on nuclear plants. We (laymen) could not claim the expertise. Even if we want to operate it, there should be experts to tell us that it is safe and good for the Filipino people,” she said. According to her, even Rep. Edcel Lagman, known to be associated with the militant groups, signed her bill/resolution.

* Access to Information bill- This bill is also earning defiance from other groups. The bill promotes transparency of all government financial transactions. Every citizen shall be afforded the right to have access on all information relative to government transactions, including the gathering of documents. It also promotes good governance. Unluckily, Madam Kimi has not yet read the contents of the bill. She said that she will study it and in due time give also her position on it.

Madam Kimi, I would be happy if you could do it earlier. The bill would be a land mark legacy if you will also support it. That will be not only a legacy to media men in country but to all concerned and loving Filipinos for good governance.

Well, going back to Loejan and Dang, no offense meant by mentioning your names in this column. You are the extension of your boss. Whatever actions you project are perceived to be the actions of Madam Kimi. Shalom!

(For comments, email me at

December 4, 2010 at 10:49 am Leave a comment

BSL swears in elected barangay, SK officials

DAGUPAN CITY – All of the 496 elected barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials
attended the mass oath-taking ceremony administered by Mayor Benjamin S. Lim last November 24 at the People’s Astrodome here.
The oath-taking took place after a brief orientation conducted by city interior and local government officer Derick Dawis, on their roles and responsibilities provided for by R.A. 7160, otherwise known as the “Local Government Code of the Philippines.”
Of the total number, 18 are re-elected while seven are returning
punong barangay who held the same position before, and six are
newly-elected who served as barangay kagawads in their respective
barangays before running as punong barangay in the October 25 polls.
Present during the occasion who served as witness are city
Councillors Jess Canto, Brian Lim, and Red Erfe-Mejia.
In his message, Lim urged barangay officials to set aside politics
and work hand in hand for a better Dagupan.
“Ang pagpapaayos, pagpapaganda at kompunidad ng ating bayan ay
trabaho nating lahat. Let us all work together. Let us forget politics
for awhile and make our city better for everyone,” said Lim.

To the other city officials who failed to attend the ceremony either wilfully or purposely and for no apparent reason at all or for some reasons beyond their control. Lim said “Shame on you!”
“Today’s ceremony is a very important day for me and for all of you
(barangays and SK officials) because this is the day that you formally
confirm your aspiration to serve our city. You have campaigned so hard
and even spent your money just to win the election,” said Lim.

“That is the reason why I don’t see any excuse for our councillors,
our city officials to be absent in this important occasion, shame on
you!” he said.
“Having said that, maybe they have their respective reason. So let us
clap our hands again and let’s forgive them,” stressed Lim.

December 4, 2010 at 10:44 am Leave a comment


Happiness index

The essence of governance is make life better for the people…to make them happy.

Yes, the province of Pangasinan has been named as haven for statistics in Region 1 as it was elevated to the Hall of Fame for its National Statistics Month celebrations.

For official statisticians to be relevant to all stakeholders and for statistics to be useful to society, national statistical systems should generate statistics to monitor not only the usual concerns of society but also the happiness of the people.

Senator Juan Ponce Enrile said it right ‘Gusto ko happy ka!’

How would you answer if asked the question: Taking all things together under the Espino Administration, would you say you are? and your choices are a) very happy, b) quite happy, c) not very happy, d) not at all happy

How would you answer if asked the question: How happy were you as you lived under the previous Administration? And your choices are a) very happy, b) fairly happy, c) neither happy nor unhappy, d) fairly unhappy, and e) very unhappy

How would you answer if asked the question: Overall, how satisfied are you with your present life under the Espino Administration? And your choices are a) very satisfied, b) fairly satisfied, c) neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, d) fairly dissatisfied, e) very dissatisfied.

How would you answer if asked the question: Overall, how satisfied are you with your present life under the previous Administration? And your choices are a) very satisfied, b) fairly satisfied, c) neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, d) fairly dissatisfied, e) very dissatisfied.

Measuring the progress of Pangasinan is important, regardless of the level of its development.

Increasing attention must be afforded to the need to measure genuine progress of Pangasinan.

Are the people of Pangasinan happy because they have a grand and beautiful capitol?

Are the people of Pangasinan happy because more of them have better earning opportunities and food on the table?

Are more really happy?

Just asking.

December 4, 2010 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

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